“This act provides a safety net for millions and millions of Americans but we have to take the next step to go check it out, sign up and make sure that we're covered,” said Mrs. Obama in an interview for the “The Joe Madison Show” on Sirius XM Radio, airing Thursday. “That should be our New Year's resolutions to ourselves.”
The first lady’s interview was one of three radio spots as the administration looks to boost enrollment in Obamacare ahead of a Dec. 23 deadline for consumers to receive insurance at the start of 2014.
The administration is scrambling to sign up consumers in insurance exchanges after the glitch-ridden launch of the healthcare.gov website in October led to lower than expected sign-ups and undercut public support for Obama's signature domestic achievement.
On Wednesday, the first lady and President Obama met with mothers in the White House and touted the role they play in making health care decisions for their families. The administration is courting mothers to encourage them to sign up their spouses and children, and touting the health law as the only way to cover all family members.
“There’s something about moms,” said the president at the event. “No. 1, they’ve got credibility generally; No. 2, women often times are the ones who are making the health care decisions of the family; No. 3, moms can tell young people who think they’re invincible that they’re not and prod them to at least get information.”
In the interview, the first lady said that signing up for Obamacare would give families “peace of mind” and stressed the need to be covered in the event of an unexpected illness.
“Find out how to get yourself covered so you don’t have an unexpected incident that bankrupts you, puts you in debt for the rest of your life. That’s the major cause of bankruptcy in this country today: it's health care bills,” said Mrs. Obama.
“People do think they’re invincible and then they are hit by an unexpected medical emergency and they are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars. They’ve got bill collectors chasing them down right now,” she added.
“Because of Obamacare no one has to go through that,” said the first lady. “Its that peace of mind that the [Affordable Care Act] provides and every American and, particularly in our community, we deserve that kind of protection.